Well, as someone relatively new to Thanksgiving, I have mixed feeling about this celebration. On one hand it is great because you get 4 consecutive days off of work, on the other hand, I really don’t know what to do: my family is far and doesn’t celebrate it anyway, I have no idea of how to cook a turkey and I have no childhood memory of happy thanksgivings. Anyway, it almost always end up that some nice Midwestern family adopts me and my boyfriend for the day and we contribute to the dinner with some Italian dish typical of Christmas. This time we brought some dessert.
First we went to Costco and bought all the Panettoni we could put our hands on. Panettone is an Italian sweet bread typical of Christmas and is vaguely reminiscent of an egg-y and fluffy raisin bread. In Italy we eat it at the end of Christmas supper or for breakfast all trough the season. Anyway, we love it a lot of Americans find it rather bland. So I did some sauces to make it more interesting.
- 3/4 lb chocolate
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- sugar to taste
- First I prepared a chocolate sauce: I melted about 3/4 lb. of chocolate in a double boiler and warmed 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and a cup of milk till boiling, then I added the milk to the chocolate and added sugar to taste.
- I started out with really dark bitter chocolate so I probably ended up adding close to 2 cups of sugar, but if you start with some sweeter chocolate or white chocolate, you might not need to add any sugar at all.
- Keep the mixing chocolate, sugar and cream until the chocolate is all melted and the sauce is glossy and fluid, if necessary add some more milk. Pay attention not to overcook the chocolate otherwise it will separate! To avoid separation, heat should be enough to keep the water in the double boiler at a simmer but not so high that it would make it boil.
- Now you can use the sauce when it is still warm or let it cool down, if you let it cool down it will thicken up and be almost pudding like in consistency. I think you can microwave the sauce to warm it up and loosen it, or you can beat the cold sauce into a fluffy mousse. Either way it’s really chocolaty!
Then I prepared a mascarpone mousse: this is way easier!
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 pint mascarpone cheese
- You just beat 3 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sugar until everything is fluffy and pale yellow and then mix in 1 pint of mascarpone. If you want you can play a bit with the amount of sugar and use a bit more or a bit less to make the mousse more or less sweet.
Finally I did a orange sauce: and this was easily my favorite!
- 2 cups milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- peel of 1 orange
- First boil 2 cups of milk with an orange peel (use an organic orange to avoid eating all the pesticides the orange has seen in her life).
- While you wait for the milk to boil beat 5 yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar until fluffy and pale yellow and prepare a double boiler with simmering water.
- Place the beaten egg mixture in the double boiler and slowly pour the boiling milk (take the peel out before doing this) over the eggs while beating the mixture with a whisk. Keep beating the cream until it thickens up, which usually takes 5-10 minutes.
- It will be kind of a thin sauce, but it should still be thick enough to coat a spoon.
Anyway we paired this sauces with panettone, but they would work well with a lot of other desserts and even cookies and, if you crave something super sweet and indulgent, the first 2 could even be eaten alone….